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11/12/2007

Screen Yorkshire Announce Three Key Appointments

Screen Yorkshire has announced that three key figures from the UK’s media industry will join the team in the New Year. The agency, which supports the growth and development of the screen industries in Yorkshire and Humber, will welcome writer and broadcaster Steve Hewlett and Jonathan Kingsbury from the BBC to its board and regional programme maker Clare Morrow to head up the Industry Development team.
Hewlett brings a wide range of industry expertise to the board of Screen Yorkshire, with previously held positions including Head of Factual Programmes at Channel 4 and Managing Director of Carlton Productions, as well as being a former editor of Panorama and BBC One documentary strand, Inside Story. Hewlett currently works as a broadcasting consultant and clients have included Ofcom, DCMS, Channel 4 and BSkyB. He is a Guardian columnist and also runs Big Pictures Ltd, a television production company with commissions from Channel 4, the BBC and the PBS Network in the USA.
Hewlett said: "Yorkshire has a long-standing history in television production and we’ve also seen a hub of innovative new media companies emerge from the region in recent years. Sheffield Doc Fest, of which I’m privileged to be Chair, has developed tremendously over the past few years and is very highly regarded internationally by the media. This is a really exciting time for film and television production and I look forward to working with Screen Yorkshire to position the region at the heart of the industry in the UK."
Screen Yorkshire has had a fantastic year following the launch of its Digital Media Content Programme in 2006. The agency’s Business Investment Fund has made a number of successful investments to bring the region’s TV and interactive media companies together to work on cross platform projects in 2007, one already resulting in a BBC commission worth £1.2m. Screen Yorkshire has also established a series of highly successful Meet The Commissioner events over the past twelve months, bringing key network commissioners to the region to meet with Yorkshire’s independent production community.
Jonathan Kingsbury, who also joins the board, is currently Head of External Supply, BBC Future Media & Technology and manages the BBC’s relationships with the new media industry. His mission is to champion the use of external new media suppliers across the BBC and to make it easier for them to work with the BBC to deliver innovative new media services. Kingsbury also acts as a new media "talent scout" for the BBC, running the BBC's approved supplier list. He has held several senior commissioning and editorial roles in the BBC, including Head of Editorial Affairs, BBC New Media.
Before he was at the BBC, Jon was editor of www.channel4.com working with a wide variety of new media production companies.
Kingsbury said: "Yorkshire is home to some of the most dynamic production and new media companies in the UK and I’m excited to be joining the board at a time when the industry is undergoing tremendous growth and development. Screen Yorkshire remains critical to the growth of the screen media industries in the region and I’m committed to supporting them over coming years to develop their support strategy in pace with the rapidly developing world of new media."
Clare Morrow, who will take up the post of Head of Industry Development in January, has worked as a programme maker across ITV and the BBC in Yorkshire for more than twenty years. Until April 2007 she was the Controller of Programmes North for ITV, responsible for regional programming across the north of England, and additionally for the ITV news output in Yorkshire. Clare is currently working as a freelance executive producer and as the Manager of the Broadcasting and Creative Industries Disability Network, which works with broadcasters and content producers to ensure better representation of people with disabilities on the screen and in the workforce.
Morrow said: "I am delighted to be joining Screen Yorkshire at an exciting time for the industry with the BBC's plans to move significant production north. I am committed to working hard to create and support maximum opportunities for content makers in Yorkshire to grow their businesses and play a significant role in the UK's creative industries."
Investments made through Screen Yorkshire’s Production Fund remain critical to positioning film and TV production in the region at the forefront of the industry in the UK. Hot on the heels of the success of Warp Films’ This is England over the summer, it was announced last week that the first two feature films to emerge from Sheffield based low budget feature film studio Warp X will premiere at Sundance, the largest independent cinema festival in the U.S. Screen Yorkshire was instrumental in attracting the first major Indian feature film, 1920, to shoot in the region last month and looks forward to continued success in the coming year, with major investments including feature films Brideshead Revisited and The Cottage and ITV drama Lost in Austen set to showcase the region in 2008.
(DS)
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